The holiday season is upon us! With Thanksgiving comes everyone’s real favorite holidays: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These hectic holiday shopping trips can be a ton of fun. However, they also pose a significant cyber threat to both businesses and consumers. Cyber security and black Friday should go hand and hand. This week’s Aspis insider goes into the dangers of black Friday and how you can prepare yourself when shopping.

Here’s what you should expect and keep an eye out for this season. 

Each year it seems that more and more Black Friday deals are being offered online. When you combine this with the fact that COVID is still a major concern on my people’s minds, more and more people will be shopping online. For the average consumer, this is an incredible positive situation. You don’t have to wake up in the early hours of the morning and fight with thousands of other shoppers to get the deal you want. However, as you can imagine, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. With the increase in online shopping, the risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches goes up exponentially. 

The most common threats that you could affect you this holiday season are data breaches, ransomware, and phishing. Let’s break these down. 

Data Breaches

If you’ve followed along with Aspis or read any of our other blogs, you have probably heard about data breaches. Data breaches are a very common form of cyber security problem. Within a data breach, many different types of personal information could be compromised. This could include:

Phone numbers

Social Security Numbers

Credit Card Numbers

Bank Account Information

With all of this at stake, consumers need to be aware of the risk. There are easy tactics that consumers can use to prevent the possibility of an attack. These include only shopping at sites you trust, never storing your card history online, and never click any suspicious links. By following these your chances of losing the above information lower drastically.

Ransomware

In the same vein as data breaches, ransomware is another type of cyber-attack that could put your private data at risk. Ransomware is exactly what it sounds like. It is a type of attack where hackers will steal personal data and try to sell it back to the company for a big cost. additionally, If the company doesn’t pay up, your data would be compromised and potentially even posted on the dark web. 

Phishing Attacks

Finally, phishing attacks are another thing that could put you at risk. These are attacks that come through emails. If you click a link within a phishing email, your personal data could be compromised. The reason that this is more of a threat over Black Friday and Cyber Monday is that you will see a lot more emails of all kinds flooding your inbox. Deals, coupons, and notices of countless other things will be sent to you. This means that hackers will try to send you phishing emails disguised as normal discount emails. Furthermore, our team recommends that consumers be very careful about what they click on. 

Thanksgiving isn’t normally the thing that would make you think about cyber-attacks, but the threat is always present. Here at Aspis, it is our goal to help you protect your personal information online. If you are worried that your personal data is at risk, don’t be afraid to contact us. Aspis has offices in Kansas City, MO, Duluth, MN, and Washington D.C. No matter where you are located, Aspis is here to help you. If you want some more awesome cyber tips and tricks, check out our weekly blogs. Also, don’t forget to follow us on social media! follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. . If you haven’t, make sure to check out our other cybersecurity consulting blogs by visiting our website. Remember, cyber security and black Friday should go hand in hand. Prepare yourself and protect your most valuable possession.

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